After a fulfilling lunch at Rafain a Brazilian restaurant we are back in our mini-van this time headed for Paraguay. Somewhere along the way we our good-byes to our Brazilian guide and head for the open border that requires no stopping to cross over.
Our first stop in Paraguay is for one hour in a commercial shopping area that not too many of us really seemed interested in. Apparently this is the premium spot for electronics and other cheap imported goods.
A few minutes of walking around and I feel trapped. The time to get back on the road cannot come soon enough. After about fifteen minutes of driving we pull into the Visitor Center for Itaipu Dam.
On a weekday afternoon we practically have the place to ourselves. There are a few locals selling “customized” goods and souvenirs. For me, an impressive showing is a craftsman making goods from thin strips of wood while using a manual jig saw.
Soon a round up is made of our now dispersed group and we board a large bus for a tour of Itaipu Dam. Built at the equivalent rate of building a 20 story building every 55 minutes using enough iron and steel to build 380 Eiffel Towers, Itaipu Dam produces enough energy to save Brazil from burning 434,000 barrels of oil a day.
Although our tour is primarily by bus we do make a stop at an observation area to see and get a better idea of the size of Itaipu. Back on the bus we drive by huge turbine discharge pipes then through an area of the dam before driving on top of it.
The tour is less than 30 minutes but the price is right as seeing Itaipu Dam is free if you do it while in Paraguay.